There are some franchises that are known for their loyalty to their players. Until recent years, Vancouver was one of them. During the Mike Gillis era, which saw the team reach game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, a large portion of the contracts signed had NTC’s or LNTC’s (No Trade Clauses or Limited No Trade Clauses). Even though current General Manager has made a ton of changes to the Canucks’ landscape, there are still a few leftovers hanging around in Vancouver, some of which have brought the city some amazing moments and deserve to stick around, should they please.
For all the heat Burrows has taken from fans in Vancouver over the past few seasons, one might think he had always been a bust and never done anything for the team. The reality is much, much different. From Burrows incredibly modest and humble beginnings in the East Coast Hockey League, he broke through the norm and worked his way into the NHL. Earning the respect of Alain Vigneault – who had coached him in the Quebec Major Junior League – he found his way onto the fourth line for the Canucks and was employed as a pure grinder, there to punish and frustrate the opposing squads, but just as Burrows had done before in his career, he wasn’t going to accept that role as his final calling. Only a few years later Burrows found himself playing alongside the Sedin twins, and although many think the Sedins never found their true linemate, Burrows was responsible for stimulating their best season’s ever, including back to back scoring titles for Henrik and Daniel.
If the Canucks and their fans want to find something or someone to build a new identity around Burrows is too old to be the center piece, but celebrating him for his incredible accomplishments and his irreplaceable contributions to Vancouver might just put a new culture of work ethic in place in Vancouver, and watching him retire in the same number 14 that he broke into the NHL with would bring a whole lot of drive to some of Vancouver’s other dark horse prospects looking to emulate Burrows work.
Alex Burrows Career with Vancouver:
Although Hamhuis has recently been the subject of trade rumors should the Canucks fail to compete for a playoff position this summer, there is a strong argument to be made for extending him through the end of his career. Hamhuis is and has always been a shining image of a professional. He plays a modest game with a huge impact. He’s been a veteran since his first day in the league, at least in the sense of his mentality towards being a professional athlete. As a British Columbia native, his ties to the Vancouver community are tightly woven and he is seen as a celebrity in town. His kind nature and strong connection to British Columbia would make it questionable not to keep him as a Canuck for the rest of his time in the NHL.
In addition to his community ties, Hamhuis is a perfect mentor for young talents like Jordan Subban, Frank Corrado and Guillame Brisebois. He would be a veteran presence that would help to mold the next generation of Canucks defenders into strong willed, committed and hard working professionals. When it was time for Hamhuis to hang em’ up and retire as a Canuck, his fingerprint would be visible throughout the Canucks defensive depth chart, making the Canucks the proud owners of true professionals to carry them into a new era.
Dan Hamhuis Career with Vancouver:
Henrik and Daniel Sedin
Yes, I can count. Henrik plus Daniel = 2. The Sedins are a package. Always have been and always will be. For whatever reason, many fans in Vancouver have been calling for their heads for a few years now, despite their ridiculous production. However ‘soft’ the Sedins are considered to be, their strength with the puck, the franchise and the city is second to none and their contributions to a franchise that has a perennial contender during their tenure can’t be matched by anyone.
The Sedins are aging there is no question about that. And their better years are probably behind them (although they did both finish in the top ten in scoring for the 2014-15 season). But their contributions to Vancouver and the franchise come from more than just their Hall of Fame worthy careers. They have become entwined in the city of Vancouver, and their families call it home now. In March of 2010 the twins donated a sum of $1.5 million to go towards building a new facility for the BC Children’s Hospital, one of the largest donations of its kind in the league’s history.
If the club does trade the Sedins, I hope they win a cup wherever they go. But in line with the comments they made themselves in a recent interview in Sweden, I hope they stay with Vancouver until the end, for better or for worse. As arguably the best players to ever dawn a Canucks uniform, watching them retire in Vancouver blue and green would be a reminder of the team’s incredible successes under their watch.
Daniel and Henrik (combined) Career with Vancouver: